Column: Potter encourages all ages to pick up a book

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 18, 2005

I was lucky enough to attend the &uot;Harry Potter&uot; party on Friday at the Albert Lea Public Library and I got to witness the true power of the fictional wizard in training.

Now there are many theories about the powers of Harry, but the primary one I witnessed was that he had in tantalizing adults, teens

and children to read. Yes reading.

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You see, I think the number one power that the book series has and which its author, J.K. Rowling, have tapped is the power of reading and how reading is such an important part of life.

I think it is absolutely wonderful that this series of books have enticed people of all ages to read books that range from 300 to 700 pages in length.

When I was young, I loved to read. I would read books about many different things &045; history, sports, people and events. I still read quite a vast array of different books that cover topics of interest to me.

I think reading is important, and today there are so many good books to read that the problem is finding enough time to read them all. When I was young they did not have books on tape, or CDs of the books to be listened to on your iPod or in your car. Although I think the technology of books on tape or CD is a wonderful invention, I still like to read the old-fashioned way &045; opening the book and starting on page one.

Since we are on the great topic of reading, I would like to share some great reads you might want to consider. Some have been around for awhile and others are new in the last few years.

I will list the book and author and let you judge if you would like to read it as well.

&uot;To Kill a Mockingbird,&uot; by Harper Lee.

&uot;Rules for Old Men Waiting,&uot; by Peter R. Pancey.

&uot;Five People You Meet in Heaven,&uot; by Mitch Albom.

&uot;Dreams from My Father,&uot; by Barack Obama.

&uot;Chronicles Volume One,&uot; by Bob Dylan.

&uot;The Perfect Mile,&uot; by Neal Bascomb.

&uot;Good to Great,&uot; by Jim Collins.

&uot;Blink,&uot; by Malcolm Gladwell.

&uot;The Alchemist,&uot; by Paulo Coelho.

&uot;Life of PI,&uot; by Yann Martell.

Two other books I just picked up are the &uot;Historian,&uot; by Elizabeth Kostova, and &uot;Kite Runner,&uot; by Khaled Hosseini. They were highly recommended to me and I will not include them on my list until I read them first.

As you can see reading is not only a great hobby that stays with you throughout your life, but a great way to stay informed on current events, make you look at both sides of an issue, get lost in a great story or just plain relax.

Your local bookstore or library are two great places to get started. Please continue to have a great summer and pick up a book.

(Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears each Monday.)